Finding the best health insurance for young adults is challenging in and of itself. Enrolling in a plan can be confusing and overwhelming. Most insurance companies don’t make it easier to understand.
Young people entering adulthood face unique challenges with healthcare insurance. It should be affordable, in theory, but often these plans seem out of your budget (and generally confusing to understand enough to enroll).
Not only are you in the early stages of your career, but you also probably don’t use health insurance all that much because you’re younger (depending on your health).
Most young adults are not used to paying for their own healthcare needs, especially if their parents included them on their insurance.
Is purchasing your own health insurance even worth it for young people? Maybe you should consider staying on your parent’s plan (if that’s an option). Let’s discuss your options.
Staying on a Parent’s Plan vs. Buying Your Health Insurance
Once you are 18 years old, your parents can opt to have you removed from their health insurance plan. However, most parents wait until their children are out of school or have a healthcare plan of their own.
Some plans allow parents to carry coverage past college for their children in specific circumstances. If remaining on your parents’ healthcare plan is an option, it is one to consider.
There are some disadvantages of staying on your parent’s insurance, like not being able to choose the type of coverage you have.
Also, while doctors can’t discuss your specific medical conditions with anyone without your permission, parents have a way of finding stuff out with access to general things like bills.
What Type of Health Insurance Plans are Best for Young Adults?
Health insurance is vital and finding affordable health insurance is too. It provides you with the financial security that comes with access to healthcare, which can be crucial if you are sick or injured.
As necessary as it is, it is expensive, especially for young people who have little to no experience with illnesses and therefore have no idea about the cost of medical care.
Don’t worry. Enrollment is easier and more affordable than you think. Here are some health insurance plans that are best for young adults:
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
HMOs (not to be confused with HSA, which stands for health savings accounts) are plans that require you to use hospitals and doctors in your provider health insurance network. If you pick this option, you’ll pay lower fees, but you may have difficulty finding providers near you that accept HMO payments.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
PPOs enable you to go to hospitals and see doctors outside your health insurance provider network. However, it will cost you more to see these out-of-network providers. This option is great if you want more flexibility in choosing a provider.
COBRA is a government-funded plan that enables you to continue to have health insurance after you leave your job. It’s an ideal choice if you have a pre-existing condition or if you need continuity of care.
COBRA health insurance is often quite expensive, and you must remember that you only have 18 months after quitting to use these benefits. If you quit before this date or miss three payments in a year, you will incur severe penalties with this health coverage option.
If you’re working in a company with over 50 employees, you may be qualified for an employer-sponsored health plan. These plans vary in terms of the healthcare costs for employees and the benefits they offer, so it’s paramount that you do your research before enrolling.
Private Health Insurance
Some private healthcare insurance companies offer affordable health insurance through interactions set up by the Affordable Care Act. These exchanges can be a great opportunity for young people who want low monthly health insurance premiums and high-quality health insurance.
You will discover a few different types of plans on the marketplace: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The benefits they offer in each plan vary widely, as do their prices. However, all of them provide necessary health benefits.
Individual Health Plans
If you aren’t interested in the state or federal Marketplace plans, you can buy an individual health plan. Private companies provide these packages, and their prices and coverage vary widely.
You must compare all plan options and get one that provides you with high-quality healthcare. Also, research providers within your health insurance providers network as they can significantly impact your access to medical services.
Family Health Plan
Do you have other family members who require healthcare coverage? There are family health plans available. These plans enable you to insure dependents, like your children and spouse, under one policy.
It is an excellent way to save money. Make sure you compare various options regarding insurance companies and find the coverage that meets your and your family’s needs.
There are many different healthcare insurance plans available. Take the time necessary to find affordable health insurance that’s right for you.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) has over 1.7 million doctors and hospitals in its health insurance network and is one of the largest insurers in the country. This is the largest network of all insurance companies, so if you’re worried about locating network providers or traveling often, BCBS might be the best option for you.
BCBS is divided into 34 separate organizations. This means that each company has its own customer service, mobile app, and patient services department. Your experience with BCBS depends on the company you are registered with.
Cigna provides inexpensive healthcare insurance plans through employers and the Marketplaces for states that have them. It is available in 10 states and provides coverage in over 30 countries and jurisdictions.
Cigna offers round-the-clock customer service in the U.S. to members of its dental and medical plans, so you can talk to them when it’s more convenient for you than the insurance company.
Cigna also has mobile applications that let you view claims and ID cards, search for providers, access your account balances, and view the cost of medical procedures.
UnitedHealthcare has an extensive network of over 1.3 million healthcare professionals and 6,500 locations. It also has two mobile apps to assist you with keeping on track with your healthcare and insurance.
Their plan app enables you to locate in-house care and speak to your doctor via telehealth services when needed. Address claims, renew prescriptions, and calculate out-of-pocket costs.
It also acts as a digital identity card, and the UnitedHealthcare Healthy Pregnancy app is very helpful for people beginning a family.
You can check for early signs of pregnancy, track the stages of your pregnancy, and contact a nurse any time, day or night. This application is available to individuals enrolled in specific employer-sponsored plans.
Short-term healthcare coverage is insurance that can last as long as a year under federal law. Some states might further restrict short-term plans.
Your state may also determine if you can renew your plans, and the longest term of short-term coverage is three years. These plans assist in filling in temporary gaps in your health insurance coverage.
This type of high-deductible health plan has yearly coverage limitations. Some won’t cover basic benefits like prescription drugs or maternity care.
Pivot Health allows you to customize a short-term health insurance plan based on several factors. Compare plan options side by side and sort plans by monthly cost, network type, plan benefits, plan limit, deductible, and the maximum amount of out-of-pocket costs you pay.
Catastrophic Health Plan
Catastrophic health insurance plans are low-premium, high-deductible health plans for individuals under the age of 30 or who qualify for an affordability or hardship exemption based on their ability to pay. It includes ten critical healthcare benefits and the free preventive care required by all plans on the market.
Plus, it includes at least three major medical visits each year before you pay a deductible. Special tax credits don’t apply to these plans. As a result, they usually won’t offer the best value unless you don’t qualify for the tax credit based on the plan’s tier.
Short-Term Health Plans
Short-term health insurance plans, like term life insurance policies, are a great option for young people in transition. For example, those just entering the workforce or college students no longer eligible for coverage under their parent or guardian’s plan should consider a short-term health plan.
These medical insurance plans provide limited coverage and are not intended to be your sole source of health coverage, but they are ideal for young adults who need short-term coverage.
Individuals can participate in these programs if their income does not surpass the federal poverty level by 400%. The maximum period of eligibility for this program is three months, and there could be certain limitations on pre-existing conditions or wait times associated with these health insurance programs.
Open Enrollment Marketplace Coverage
If you do not have health insurance from your employer or parents, you will have to buy it yourself. One of the best health insurance options is coverage through your state’s health insurance marketplace.
All state insurance marketplaces have open registration once a year. Here are a few things to know about open enrollment:
- Federal Marketplace (HealthCare.gov) open enrollment begins November 1, 2022, through January 15, 2023 (in applicable states)
- Coverage begins January 1, 2023 (if you enroll by December 15, 2022)
- Enrollment after December 15, 2022, coverage will likely begin February 1, 2023
- States with their own Marketplaces aren’t required to follow the federal open enrollment period (but cannot end before December 15, 2022)
You can also apply for a health insurance plan if you are eligible for a special subscription period. For example, you could be eligible for a conditional enrollment period if you recently lost coverage.
3 Things Young People Frequently Ask About Health Insurance
Here are some frequently asked questions about health insurance coverage for your adults:
1. How Much Is Health Insurance?
Health insurance plan costs vary depending on things like whether you qualify for the premium tax credit along with the plan you choose. Insurers can only consider five factors to determine your costs:
- Geographical location
- Plan type
- Individual or family enrollment
- Smoking status
For example, when you look at the cost of insurance for 25-year-olds, health insurance premiums for standard plans average around $300 with an average deductible of $8,000. When browsing through plans, see all the costs you’ll incur, including copays, deductibles, coinsurance, and health insurance plan monthly premiums.
2. What Is a Health Insurance Copayment?
A copay is an amount an insurance company asks a patient to pay for a medical service, usually for doctor visits and prescription drugs. In some cases, you might be able to pay a copayment for services before you reach your health insurance deductible.
For example, a plan might have a $1,500 deductible but a $65 copay for doctor appointments and a $25 copay for prescriptions. Copayments make specific services more affordable before satisfying the deductible.
3. What Is a Deductible in Health Insurance?
Health insurance deductibles are the amount patients pay for healthcare services each year before their coinsurance kicks in and starts to cover a percentage of the patient’s expenses. The insurance policy determines which costs are included in the deductible and which are not.
For example, MRIs, lab tests, and hospital bills are usually included in your deductible, while insurance premiums are not. Copayments may or may not be charged.
That means if the patient’s deductible is $1,500 and their coinsurance is 30%, they’ll have to pay $1,500 for qualified medical expenses before your insurance starts to cover 70% of their costs.
Get the Health Insurance Coverage You Need from Agents You Can Trust
Young adults have several options when choosing an affordable health insurance plan so they can get cheap health insurance. It’s essential to do your research and sign up for a health insurance plan that meets your needs and your finances.
Having health insurance is critical to ensure you have access to quality healthcare when needed most. The best health insurance plan for young adults depends on your situation.
However, there are a few things to consider if you are a young adult. It’s best to speak to someone with experience.
At Fiorella Insurance, we are your trusted agents when it comes to getting you the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
If you’re a young adult and need your own health insurance plan, get a free quote from Fiorella Insurance today. We work to help you get the most affordable health insurance available, even if you have pre-existing conditions.